At the request of the CNMI government, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District, has agreed to halt the feasibility study for Coastal Storm Risk Management on Beach Road on Saipan, which is threatened by coastal erosion.
The CNMI had preferred natural and nature-based solutions to mitigate the threats but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has determined that this could not be done as economically as a hybrid seawall, prompting the CNMI government to ask the U.S. Army Corps to just terminate the study.
According to a U.S. Army Corps news release last Saturday, long-term coastal erosion threatens Beach Road, a primary territorial highway and main public thoroughfare on the island of Saipan. The feasibility study assessed coastal storm risk management actions that would reduce tropical storm-induced damages as well as long-term erosion to Beach Road, a seaward pedestrian walkway, and the surrounding infrastructure and property.
Based on evaluation and comparison of the alternatives, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommended the construction of a hybrid seawall as the Tentatively Selected Plan and National Economic Development plan with a federal interest.
The proposed plan would reduce risk to Beach Road from coastal storms and sea level rise over the project life. However, CNMI preferred natural and nature-based solutions to mitigate the threats. This could not be done as economically as the hybrid seawall; therefore, CNMI provided USACE with a Notice to Terminate the study in September 2021.
“We remain dedicated to an ongoing productive partnership with CNMI, and I am hopeful that we can continue to assist the CNMI achieve their objectives through the Garapan Watershed Assessment and future studies and projects,” said commander Lt. Col Eric Marshall, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District.
To view the termination report, go to https://www.poh.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Civil-Works-Projects/Saipan-Beach-Road/ (PR)